Sneak Preview: The Voice of Celia Darling – Script

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This story’s a long way from seeing any more daylight than this script excerpt (it probably won’t debut on the site until mid 2011), but I thought it would be fun to share. It doesn’t have an artists attached to it yet, though it is with a potential artists who’s drawn for Split Lip before.

Times of transition are often ripe settings for horror. I got thinking about the changeover from silent to sound movies in the late 1920s and how some silent film stars never made the transition to talkies. Which got me thinking, maybe some of them failed because their voices just sounded so horrible.

Script excerpt after the jump.

Page 1 ? 6 panels

1/ In a lavish bungalow sitting room circa late 1920s Hollywood, three people are having a discussion. Sitting on a plump sofa is CELIA DARLING, movie star. Celia is one of the biggest silent film stars of her day. She combines the delicate bone structure of Joan Crawford (a la http://bonecasebonecas.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/joan_crawford2.jpg) with the short, stylish haircut of Mary Pickford (http://davidkiyokawa.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/mary-pickford.jpg). She’s got an 8×10 photograph in her hand and is examining it.

Throughout the story, Celia should be drawn in the most glamorous possible ways. We should especially get her in close ups when possible ? after all, she’s a star!

In the center of the room is an LAPD DETECTIVE, who’s scribbling into a notebook. He’s sitting in an armchair near Celia. He’s in his late 40s or early 50s, with rumpled clothes, a potbelly, and a round, fat face. His hat rests on one knee. He’s bald on top and looks tired around the eyes.

A little apart from the two of them is DONALD GRAYSON, a young, stylish man. He’s seated and dressed well and acting very cocky. He’s sure of himself and his worth. Think Don Draper, but more ostentatious, 40 years earlier, and 10 years younger. He’s kicked back, resting his feet on the desk.

CAPTION: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? SEPTEMBER 1929

DECTECTIVE: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? PLEASE LOOK CLOSELY; THAT’S HER.

2/ Close in on the photo CELIA is holding. It shows a pretty (but not spectacular like Celia) woman ? DIANTHA DOE ? on the set of a movie. She’s dressed as a mermaid ? coconut shell bra, etc. ? and is surrounded by a few other women similarly dressed. She’s laughing, happy.

If you’re letting this, let’s think about using a different font for Celia’s balloons than everyone else’s, to give that sense of how unpleasant her voice is.

CELIA: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? I’M SORRY, DETECTIVE. I DON’T PLACE?HER. YOU’RE SURE SHE APPEARED IN MY PICTURES?

DETECTIVE: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? CERTAIN, MS. DARLING

3/ CELIA hands the photo back to the DETECTIVE, who’s risen and is giving her an odd look, his nose crinkled a bit.

DETECTIVE: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? WELL, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME THEN.

DETECTIVE 2: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?UH —?IF YOU DON’T MIND ME SAYING, MS. DARLING, YOU SOUND AWFULLY DIFFERENT IN PERSON THAN AT THE PICTURE SHOWS.

4/ At this, GRAYSON pipes up. He doesn’t really move from his relaxed position, but he looks a little less cocksure. He’s definitely jumping in here.

GRAYSON: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? THAT’S THE TECHNIQUE, DETECTIVE. THE SOUND PROCESS IS STILL SO NEW. IT OFTEN CHANGES THE TONE OF ACTORS’ VOICES.

5/ The DETECTIVE tucks his notebook and the photo into his inner jacket pocket, giving Grayson an inquisitive look.

DETECTIVE: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?HUH.

6/ As the DETECTIVE walks out, CELIA shoots a furious glare at GRAYSON (this is behind the detective’s back).

DETECTIVE: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?I’LL BE IN TOUCH IF THERE’S ANYTHING ELSE.

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